Christmas is celebrated to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God. The name ‘Christmas‘ is coined from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). So we get the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas.
Christmas is by far, one of the most important and celebrated Christian event. However, there are some churches that would rather sit it out. Here’s a list of religious organizations that don’t officially celebrate Christmas and why.
5 Churches that don’t celebrate Christmas
1. Jehovah’s Witness
Jehovah’s Witness, is one of the biggest community of Christmas-snubbers. It’s interesting to know that that once upon a time, Jehovah’s Witnesses used to observe Christmas celebration. And after further research by one of its founding leaders in 1928, they had a redress.
According to spokesman J.R. Brown from the church’s Brooklyn, New York, headquarters, this official’s findings led to the church shunning the holiday. The said official discovered that “Christmas” is based on “false religious beliefs or activities.” Deseret News reports that this is explained in a 1993 book, “Jehovah’s Witnesses — Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom.”
Brown says after the group “rejected religious doctrine which had pagan practice, they also quit sharing in many customs that were similarly tainted. But for a time, certain holidays were not given the careful scrutiny that they needed. One of these was Christmas.”
The researcher proved that the major reason why they should not celebrate Christmas is because they believe the Bible didn’t place emphasis on it and hence, they shouldn’t. However, they do not prevent others from celebrating it.
In Brown’s words, Witnesses now ask themselves “does this please God, when it is not mentioned in the scriptures?”
How Witnesses now approach the holiday
“If someone is dealing with you and they say, ‘Merry Christmas,’ we do not go into a sermon about the pagan origins.
“You don’t make an issue of it every time because we have to face the fact that they mean well when they say ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.’
“We will say this is the time of year many people are actually thinking about Jesus Christ. Did you take notice of what he put their emphasis on in his life?”
“I personally go out. I’m 74, and I’ve done this since I was 4 years old.”Brown says
Birthdays, Halloween, Easter, Mother’s Day, New Year’s Day, and Valentine’s Day are also shunned because of their pagan histroy.
2. Seventh Day Adventist Church
Seventh Day Adventist Church is also against the celebration of Christmas. The church publication say “We do not celebrate Christmas as the Birth of Christ per say since Christ was not born in Dec.”
“He did not want us to celebrate His birth or He would have told us when He was born. It has become a money-making celebration with Christ mixed in. It is a pagan ritual.
“We join in to be with the Family or friends to celebrate their friendship and love as a family gathering and for the Children. Easter too is a pagan holiday and we do not celebrate the Name but we honour Christ’s Resurrection and keep the day in mind on what He has done for us. We do not make an issue out of it but quietly honour Christ….it’s a gathering also for the Children. It is a personal Choice.”
3. Deeper Life
Pastor W.F. Kumuyi, the head of Deeper Life Bible Church announced to his members and the world that his church does not celebrate the popular holiday. He made the announcement years ago, at the 2013 December retreat saying: “We don’t celebrate Christmas nor sing Christmas carol; because Christmas is of idolatrous background.”
Deeper Christian Life Ministry holds its National December Retreat annually instead.
4. God’s Kingdom Society (GKS)
The church was founded by St. Gideon Meriodere Urhobo in 1934 after leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses. He lived from 1903–1952. The headquarters can be found in Warri.
God’s Kingdom Society is another anti-Christmas society. The also firmly believes that there is no evidence in the Bible that Jesus was born on 25 December. They relatively believe that He was born in October and that Christmas originated from “a noisy pagan festival in honour of the god of the sun”.
So, as other Christians celebrate Christmas in December, they celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ in October. This is done with something called the Freedom Day.
5. Religious Society of Friends
There is a religious group called the Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers.
This church believes that “every day is a holy day,” so there is no need to single out just one day to celebrate.
Another reason why they do not celebrate Christmas is that some Quakers are trying to go back to the ways of early Christianity.
Chris Pifer, a spokesman for the Friends General Conference, says, “There’s an effort within aspects of Quaker practice to try and explore and find primitive Christianity, the church before it became a political entity.
“In very early Christianity, there weren’t holidays like Christmas anywhere close to the form it is today.”
Wikipedia reports that 52% of the group around the world can be Africa. Kenya reportedly has the largest number of Quakers in this continent.
According to the church’s website, fwccafrica.org, the Nigerian branch started as a small worship group in Lagos in the early 1990’s.
Fun Fact – Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM) don’t celebrate Christmas too. According to the founder, Pastor D.K. Olukoya, “We don’t celebrate Christmas because the root is demonic.”
Regardless of what these churches believe, billions of Christians around the world continue to mark Christ’s birthday on December 25 each year.